Pruning Unseen Giants

Armor weaved out of sundried palm leaves, her Quixote was perfect for my straightjacketed Dulcinea. With red thread, I stitched a white habit out of an armful of my baby brother’s best cloth diapers. The costume was tight around my ankles. I moved an inch and something ripped—my mother is going to wring my neck.

The red stitches caused a riot: Mother Superior blamed my “wilds” on pliable rulers. But Sister Virtudes de la Piedad said that plastic had similar howl-birthing powers.

I was punished in plastic. I didn’t howl or ask for redemption, but said to Mother and Sister that they were unfair and braindead. Quixote was told never to speak to me again. I thought she would fight for us. But her eyes were heavy with the shame she was told I should have felt… And she ran away to befriend giant-thought-sucking windmills.

armed in power red
Panza’s bare feet kiss the soil
prune unseen giants

Note: one of my best friends says that “pain is a betrayer”. I agree with her. Pain attacks from within, and it makes the whole thing feel as if it is your fault. It leaves the mind and body hurt and confused, asking: Why are you doing this? What do you want for me?

***
NaPoWriMo with Magaly Guerrero, Day 2 – Creativity and Pain: “This poem should explore creativity as a healing salve, as a shield, as a weapon, or as a negotiation method to use when dealing with physical and/or psychological pain.”

linked to the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads: Mama Zen said, “Today, I want you to tell us about the house that built you. It doesn’t have to be an actual house; it can be a school house, a house of worship, a tree-house…. any place from your younger years that has special meaning to you now.” My house is bright red.

Tilting at Windmills, by Galen ValleTilting at Windmills ©2015 Galen Valle

Crashed Angel Full of Lice

I saw a crashed angel
full of lice,
and a priest who wouldn’t see him.

Someone (a girl of nine, perhaps) screamed,
“You dunghill of a man, help him!
Don’t you see he’s dying?”

But the angel was judged filthy,
too unprofitable, too un-helpable, not holy at all—
Heaven needed none of his broken ribs.

I ran to get help,
climbed a fence between two houses,
and bumped into a little girl:

she was as mean as a goose, and
dressed in the same color
for Sunday Mass…
But her brothers had wetted all the white
with red liquid pieces of her,
and were watching her dry on the clothesline.

Decades later,
after tongue dancing to
“The Song of Despair”,
I write the hurt of a filthy angel,
while wondering about vacant-eyed boys
and their air-dried sister goose.

***
NaPoWriMo with Magaly Guerrero, Day 1 – The Birth of Your Art: “Base your first poem on the first work of art that inspired your creative addiction.”
My love for reading and writing fiction began after experiencing Gabriel García Márquez’s “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” and Horacio Quiroga’s “The Decapitated Chicken”. Poetry came much later, through the words of Pablo Neruda; particularly, Memoirs and Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair.

from the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads and NaPoWriMo 2015

A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings

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